John Napier (designer)

John Napier (designer)

"For other people with the same name, see John Napier (disambiguation)."

John Napier (born 1 March, 1944 in London) is a Tony Award-winning set designer for Broadway and London theatrical performances.


John Napier studied at Hornsey College of Art and the Central School of Arts and Crafts, studying under notable set designer Ralph Koltai.

Napier earned a position as an Associate Designer at the Royal Shakespeare Company. He has designed for the National Theatre, notably the production of Peter Shaffer's "Equus", "Trelawny of the Wells", "An Enemy of the People" and "Candide". John Napier has also designed for the Royal Opera House, for Glyndebourne, for the English National Opera and others. He designed "Children of Eden", "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and "Jesus Christ Superstar" in London's West End. He reworked his original designs for "Equus" for the 2007 London production.

Napier is responsible for many of the iconic images of modern theatre, including the stark set and metal horse masks of "Equus", the roller-skating trains of "Starlight Express", the larger-than-life cat junkyard in "Cats" and the moving barricades of "Les Misérables".

In the United States, in addition to numerous Broadway productions, he designed and co-directed the show for illusionists Siegfried & Roy at The Mirage, Las Vegas. He also designed the Captain EO video starring Michael Jackson for Disney and the Steven Spielberg film "Hook".

Honours and awards

Napier's design awards include Society of West End Theatre Awards ("Oliviers") for "King Lear", "Lohengrin", and "Burning Blue". Napier has won Tony Awards for Nicholas Nickleby, "Cats", "Starlight Express", "Les Misérables" and "Sunset Boulevard". He has won Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Set Design for "Starlight Express" and "Les Misérables" as well as for Outstanding Costume Design for "Starlight Express". He has twice won The Critics' Circle Award for set design, first in 1989 for "Miss Saigon" and again in 1997 for "Peter Pan".Napier is a member of the American Academy of Achievement. He was elected Royal Designer for Industry in 1996 and is an Honorary Fellow of the London Institute.


Royal Shakespeare Company

*"Hedda Gabler"
*"King Lear"
*"Mother Courage and Her Children"
*"Nicholas Nickleby"
*"Once in a Lifetime
*"Peter Pan"
*"The Comedy of Errors"

Royal National Theatre

*"The Party"
*"Trelawny of the Wells"
*"An Enemy of the People"
*"Peter Pan"
*"South Pacific"

Broadway / West End

*"Les Misérables"
*"Miss Saigon"
*"Starlight Express"
*"Sunset Boulevard"
*"Jesus Christ Superstar"
*"Jane Eyre"
*"Gone With The Wind"


*"Lohengrin" (Covent Garden)
*"Macbeth" (Covent Garden)
*"Idomeneo" (Glyndebourne Festival Opera)
*"The Devils" (English National Opera)
*"Nabucco" (Metropolitan Opera)

External links

*imdb|0621027|John Napier
*imdb|25171|John Napier
* [ John Napier at UK Theatre Web]
* [ Napier's biography for 'Cats' (Really Useful Group)]
* [ Napier's biography for the 2007 London production of 'Equus']

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